It’s not causation, but it might suggest a possible relationship (or non-relationship).
Take whatever key metric you’re tracking (ideally leads generated, retention, CSAT etc..) and drop it into Google Sheets.
Now pull as many data points from Google Analytics/your platform data package as you can and see what correlates with what you’re tracking.
This is easy enough to do using the =CORREL feature. Highlight the first array, then the second array and see what happens. What has the strongest relationship?
For example, we recently found the level of activity has no correlation to the likelihood of a newcomer participating for the first time. However, the quantity of off-topic or ‘small talk’ discussions is strongly correlated.
This might suggest we should guide newcomers towards off-topic discussions to get them started. We could then adapt our onboarding emails to guide newcomers towards these discussions, interview newcomers to uncover their unique motivations, and pursue this approach (over personal welcomes or @mentions) to engage them for the first time.
You might be surprised by what you find and how you might use it.